I spent several hours this weekend on building a retaining wall from large stones and a retaining wall out of old tires. This is part of Kitty’s plan for the expansion of our garden and the increase in our production of berries. The area, which is currently where two of my cherry trees are growing, gets a lot of water coming down the hill, so the ground seems to be suitable for our intentions. I spent some time a few months ago collecting old tires from the Tire shops in the city. They apparently have to pay to have these removed to a suitable land-fill, so they are very happy when someone offers to take the tires off their hands (they charge the clients a fee for removing the tires, this means they save some additional money).
I began by stacking the tires along the area I wished to build the retaining wall, then I shovelled dirt, rocks, whatever I could, into the tire walls. This is similar to the method used in creation of an Earth Ship home, yet the tires do not need to be as compacted for a retaining wall as they would for a house. I completed the first row on the weekend, and started on the second layer before I realised that the ground I was working on had turned into a marsh. I noticed that the stone retaining wall was preventing the majority of the water from leaving the garden bed.
To correct this I removed a small portion of the stone wall and installed a modified French Drain to assist in moving the water from the area. This had an improved result on the water situation, yet I feel it is only a temporary measure. The main cause of this is the fact that there is an almost solid layer of rock just under the surface of the garden bed. I will now have to dig up a portion of this to increase the thickness of the soil, and I will then use the excess stones to increase the height of the stone retaining wall. By increasing the height of the wall I will allow additional soil to be added.
I had an interesting experience with my rabbits on the weekend. I felt that my 6 young rabbits were ready to graduate to the dinner table. I prepared my slaughtering area, my butchering area and organised all the tools I would need. I selected a lovely young female rabbit from the hutch and, rather then begin to try to scratch me, it nestled into the crook of my arm. I carried it to eh slaughter area and prepared myself for the task at hand. As I placed it on the table, I noticed it was very calm, her large brown eyes looking at me. I was suddenly over taken with a sense that I could not kill this rabbit. I don’t know what it was… perhaps that it was so docile… I just know that I couldn’t kill it. I carried the rabbit to my children and allowed them to play with it for a while, before returning it to the hutch.
I postponed the rabbit work I had planned and sought other work to keep me busy. I suspect that this rabbit may become a pet for the children, as I still don’t feel that I can slaughter this one. I have killed and butchered many animals for food, this is the first time I have felt that I can’t kill an animal.
Has anyone else felt this way while hunting or processing animals?